Sacred Expeditions Peru

Salkantay Trek Classic 4 days 3 nights

$ 590 Book Now
Home » Machu picchu - Salkantay Trek»Salkantay Trek Classic 4 days 3 nights
Type Tours Trek
Distance 34 km
Difficulty Moderado
Best Time Abril - Mayo
Group Size Max - 12 Personas
Accomodation Camping

Resumen de viaje

Hike the Salkantay Trek 4 days, the second most popular trek to Machu Picchu, included in the top 25 hiking tours in the world by National Geographic Adventure Travel magazine. For 4 days you will explore the high mountains towards the lush cloud forest where Machu Picchu is located. Enjoy our real camping experience tours with comfortable tents and hot showers!

$ 590 Book Now


The Classic Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu for 4 days and 3 nights is the second most popular route to Machu Picchu after the Classic Inca Trail and one of the most spectacular treks in Peru and the world. It is also the most challenging and adventurous tour that we offer at Sacred Expeditions Peru. You will be able to see the Humantay Lake, the snowy mountains, the cloud forest, the coffee farms, learn how to cook Pachamanca and finish the trek in Machu Picchu.

Details of the trip:

  • Duration: 4 days / 3 nights
  • walking distance: 50 km – 31 miles
  • Exit: Cuzco
  • Difficulty: moderate to challenging
  • Season: March to December
  • Destination: Macchu Picchu
  • Type: Adventure – Camp – Hotel
  • Highlights of the Salkantay Trek:
  • Book with Confidence and Flexibility, change dates at any time without charges!
  • Complimentary airport pickup and drop-off in Cusco.
  • Visit Lake Humantay and camp near Salkantay Mountain (the best places to camp without the crowds).
  • Real camping experience with tents and hot showers to enjoy nature!
  • Visit organic coffee farms and participate in the preparation of a PACHAMANCA
  • Return to Cusco on the Exclusive Vistdome Panoramic Train.
  • Support our social projects and empower local women.

Price per person

To reserve the Salkantay Trek Classic, you must make an initial payment of 50 USD per person, the remaining balance can be paid online, in installments or in Cusco with any credit card without any reservation fee.

Discount for students:

All travelers under the age of 17 will get $40. If you are 25 or younger when you travel, you can get the $40 discount with your student ID. Please notify us by email to give you a code for the discount.

Summary day by day of the Salkantay Trek 4 days

Day 1: Cusco – Humantay Lagoon – Salkantay Pampa (16km, 8hrs)

We pick you up at your hotel located in Cusco and travel for 3 hours to the trailhead. After breakfast, we walk for 3 hours following an ancient aqueduct until we reach Soraypampa, where we will have lunch. We hike for 2 hours to Laguna Humantay (4200m) and camp near the Salkantay mountain at 3900m in the afternoon.

Day 2: Base camp -Hayrajpunku – Collpapampa (18km, 9hrs)

Wake up with a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy breakfast with the mountains, then trek to the Salkantay pass at 4630mts for 3 hours and two more for lunch. The second part is a 3-hour descent to the second camp at 2,770 meters.

Day 3: Collpapampa – Hydroelectric- Aguas Calientes (16km, 8hrs)

Wake up in your tent, have breakfast and start hiking along the cloud forest for 3 hours visiting local villages, coffee farms and prepare a unique Pachamanca with your chef. After lunch, we will take a 3-hour walk from the Hidroelectica to Aguas Calientes to spend the night in a hotel.

Day 4: Machu Picchu (Beat the crowds!) – 4 hours

After breakfast, we take the first buses to Machu Picchu for sunrise, visit the Intipunku or the Inca Bridge, and then explore Machu Picchu with your guide. Once you finish, you will take the panoramic train and the bus back to your hotel in Cusco.


Complete itinerary of the Classic Salkantay Trek 4 days 3 nights

Day 1: Cusco hotel – Humantay lake – Salkantay base camp (16km, 8hrs)

We will pick you up from your hotel between 4:30 am (depending on your location) and take you to the trailhead. After breakfast, we will start a 3-hour hike to Soraypampa (3600 m), following an ancient aqueduct that supplies water to lowland farmers. Lunch is served in the village of Soraypampa by its trekking chef. After enjoying the well-deserved lunch, we will start a 2-hour climb to the Humantay Lagoon (4200 m / 13779 ft). Along the way, you’ll see a variety of flora and fauna, such as the Andean goose (the birds of love), deer, and vizcachas (which look a lot like a rabbit). Next, we will continue climbing for two more hours to reach Salkantay Pampa (3900 m / 12795 ft). Once at the camp, we will have the tents ready, we will have tea time, we will have dinner and then we will be able to look at the stars before going to sleep.

  • camp altitude:3,900m – / 12,795ft
  • maximum altitude:4200m / 13779ft
  • Distance:16 km / 9.9 miles
  • Duration:8 hours
  • Foods:Breakfast, snacks, lunch, tea and dinner.
  • Accommodation:Camp
  • Difficulty:moderate

Day 2: Salkantay base camp -Hayrajpunku – Collpapampa (18km, 9hrs)

We will wake you up early with a cup of hot coca coffee or tea. As you leave your tent, a beautiful landscape made up of vast plains and snow-capped peaks awaits you. We will enjoy the impressive views of the highest mountains in Peru. After breakfast, we will start ascending to the highest point of our trek, the Salkantay Pass (4630m/15190ft). At the top we will take time to explore the fantastic landscapes, including a beautiful lake at the base of this majestic mountain. It will be another 3 hour downhill hike to the lunch spot at Wayracmachay (3800m/ 12467ft) from the top. After lunch, we will begin to descend from the mountains into the cloud forest, experiencing one of the fastest changes in temperature and weather. Along the way we will see an abundance of different types of flowers, hummingbirds and orchids until reaching Colpapampa, located at 2770 meters.

Tonight we will stay next to a small town.

  • camp altitude: 2770m / 9087ft
  • maximum altitude: 4630m / 15190ft
  • Distance: 18 km / 14.91 miles
  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Foods: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, tea and dinner.
  • Accommodation: Camp
  • Difficulty: moderate

Day 3: Collpapampa – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes (16km, 8hrs)

Day 3 is possibly the most beautiful of Salkantay Sacred Expeditions Peru! After enjoying a delicious breakfast, we will hike for about 3 hours to Lucmabamba (2000m/6600ft). We will join a Pachamanca cooking demonstration and traditional cooking methods, vegetables, fruits with hot stones. You will actively participate in the preparation of this unique delicacy. After lunch you will visit an organic coffee farm and learn the harvesting process and how to prepare your coffee. Then drive for an hour to Hidroelectrica and walk for 3 hours to Aguas Calientes, arriving around 5pm.

Here we will have dinner at a local restaurant and spend the night in a hotel.

  • camp altitude:2000m / 6561ft
  • Distance:14 km / 8.6 miles
  • Duration:6 hours
  • Foods:Breakfast lunch dinner.
  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Difficulty:moderate

DAY 4: Machu Picchu (Lost City of the Incas) 4 hours

On our last day, we have to get up very early to prepare for the highlight of your Sacred Expeditions Peru, visiting Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. We will go directly to the line to wait for the first bus to Machu Picchu at 5:30 am. Upon arrival as the sky clears up we will climb with the amazing views of the city along the way. On a clear day, you can see the spectacular sunrise over Machu Picchu. This is truly an unforgettable sight. Your guide will take you on a comprehensive 2-3 hour tour of the city before dropping you off at Machu Picchu to explore on your own or climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (tickets should be booked as far in advance as possible). Your guide will explain how to take the bus from Machu Picchu back to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included) and then take
the train and bus back to Cusco. The Sacred Expeditions Peru team will meet you as you get off the train and return you safely to your hotel.

  • maximum altitude:2700m / 8858ft
  • Distance:6 km / 3 miles
  • Duration:2-3 hours
  • Foods:Breakfast (hotel)
  • Difficulty:Easy

Includes/Does not include

Included in the Salkantay Trek 4 days

  • Pre-departure briefing at 6:00 pm the night before your tour
  • Pick up from your hotel on the morning of the trek.
  • Experienced English speaking tour guide
  • 2 nights of camping in comfortable tents
  • 1 night in a 3-star hotel in Aguas Calientes
  • Camping equipment: tents, tables, chairs and kitchen equipment.
  • Entrance ticket to Salkantay and Machu Picchu.
  • Canvas bag up to 8 kg (17 pounds) for the things that our horses carry.
  • Pack mules to carry food, equipment and personal things.
  • Trekking chef to prepare meals (B, L, D)
  • All meals included except lunch on the last day (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free meals available)
  • Snacks, drinking water and warm water for washing.
  • First aid kit, satellite phones, oxygen tank
  • Vistadome panoramic train back to Cusco

Not included

  • Sleeping bags, air mattress or trekking poles (can be rented from us)
  • Last day Lunch in Aguas Calientes.
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain Ticket or Machu Picchu Mountain.
  • Tips for porters, chef, guides.
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)

Other walks after the Machu Picchu tour::

Huayna Picchu Mountain: The most famous mountain, it takes 2 hours round trip and must
be booked well in advance; 75.USD per person
Machu Picchu Mountain: The highest, and it takes 3 hours round trip, also called Machu
Picchu Mountain, needs to be reserved in advance; 75.USD per person

What should I bring?

Salkantay Trek 4 days Packing List

When you sign up for the Salkantay Trek, you will be hiking Peru’s second most popular trek and most challenging trek to Machu Picchu. You will walk into the jungle from great heights. The terrain will change considerably in a matter of hours and due to the unpredictable weather the rains can take at any moment, so you must be prepared.
It is important to note that you will not be bringing all of your belongings on this trip.

You will only need to take the essentials for the 4-day trek and leave the rest of your luggage in Cusco. We will provide you with a duffel bag to put 7kg in; must include your sleeping bag and air mattress.

You will also have a backpack. You should always carry all your daily necessities with you when you go hiking. We recommend a maximum weight of 5 to 8 kg.

What will you put in the backpack?

  • The original passport should always be kept in a secure pocket, and is best kept in a plastic bag or kept dry in a waterproof cover.
  • Plastic poncho, Sacred Expeditions Peru will provide you with a plastic poncho. You still need a rain jacket and weather resistant gloves.
  • Sunscreen, you will walk in open spaces exposed to direct sunlight; make sure you bring the correct sunscreen or purchase it in Cusco before you set out on the trek.
  • Toilet paper, you’ll find the local restrooms; they usually charge, and you will need small coins, always bring toilet paper in your backpack.
  • Insect repellent, after the second day, you will walk in the jungle. You need bug spray and always wear long sleeves.
  • 1 rain jacket, 1 warm/winter jacket. The jacket must always be carried in the backpack. The temperature in the first 2 mornings will be frigid. You will start walking through all your layers; then, he will start taking them off and putting them in his backpack when he warms up.
  • Snacks, the average walking time per day is about 8 hours; you will consume a lot of energy; In addition to the meals and snacks we provide, we recommend bringing energy bars, granola, chocolate, and candy.
  • In the water bowl, you need to bring water for the first half of the day, and then provide water after the first lunch; however, it is necessary to have a container of at least 2 liters: reusable water bottle.
  • Flashlights or headlamps should always be in your backpack; you will need them to walk around the campsite and use the restroom. Headlights are better for hands free.
  • Hat, sun hat during the day and something warm at night. In addition, it is also recommended to wear gloves at night and in the morning.
  • Sunglasses to protect your eyes from the strong sunlight in Salkantay.
  • Extra money, we recommend bringing around 600 soles (200.USD) to the Salkantay Trek; make sure you have some small coins, this is emergency money and you won’t spend it all. You will need to use the restroom, shop for souvenirs, buy drinks or snacks, and tip if you find it convenient.
  • For personal medication, please bring Band-Aids, Diamox, Pepto, Ibuprofen, Imodium, motion sickness medicine, and feminine products.
  • Camera or mobile phone to take pictures.

What will you put in the suitcase?

On the first night of the Salkantay trek, the sleeping bag will freeze below 0 degrees Celsius; You will need a suitable sleeping bag that can withstand -10 degrees Celsius. You can bring your own or rent it from us.

  • Hiking boots, we strongly recommend that you wear hiking boots instead of sports shoes.
  • Sandals: After a long walk, it is necessary to wear light clothing in the camp.
  • 5 pairs of wool hiking socks, comfortable for walking.
  • 4 pairs of light socks to wear after the walk.
  • 5 pairs of underwear, just in case, bring more in case they get wet
  • 2 or 3 pairs of breathable hiking pants for women’s jumpsuits are also perfect.
  • 1 type of sports pants, suitable for night and early morning
  • 5 t-shirts, long-sleeved ones are better,
  • Baby wipes, tissues, and a small towel
  • The swimsuit is optional because you can visit the hot springs of Aguas Calientes.
  • Trekking poles, you can bring your own or rent them from us.
  • Air mattresses, we offer foam mattresses; however, you can bring or rent an air mattress for added comfort.

Salkantay Trek 4 Days FAQs

What is Salkantay?

Salkantay is the second highest mountain in the Cusco region, at 6,271 m / 20,574 ft. It is located in the Vilcabamba mountains, 60 km northwest of Cusco in the central Andes of Peru. Salkantay means “wild mountain” and has been considered by the locals as a sacred god that controls the weather and fertility since the Inca era.

What is Salkantay Trek?

Salkantay’s proximity to Machu Picchu and ancient trails make it a perfect alternative route called the Salkantay Trek. This trek can be completed in a 4 or 5 day trek to Machu Picchu.

How long does Salkantay travel?

Salkantay Trek can be done in many ways, depending on the itinerary or operator you choose. The most popular trips are those of 4 and 5 days. Less than 4 days can bring great challenges, and trips of more than 5 days usually include Cusco city tours or Sacred Valley Tours.

Is the Salkantay trek worth it?

The Salkantay route is not only the most popular hiking route to Machu Picchu after the Inca Trail. This trek also provides various experiences for travelers, from high mountains with cold temperatures to a high jungle called “cloud forest”.

These extremely diverse landscapes will provide trekkers with exceptional opportunities to experience different landscapes, climates and have the opportunity to reach Machu Picchu before sunrise.

How high is Salkantay Trek?

It is important to note the difference between the 6,271 m / 20,574 ft Salkantay Mountain and the Salkantay Pass, located at 4,630 m / 15,190 ft.

  • First Camp: 3,900m / 12,795ft
  • Second camp: 2770 mt / 9087 feet
  • Last night in Aguas Calientes: 2,000m / 6561ft

How cold is the Salkantay trek?

  • This hike offers a variety of landscapes and different ecosystems and temperatures.
  • The weather varies throughout the year. If you hike in the dry season (April to October) or the rainy season (November to March), the temperature will rise slightly during the rainy season and summer in the southern hemisphere.
  • Day 1: On the first day of the trek, the maximum temperature during the day is 18°C / 64°F and the temperature at night drops below 0°C / 32°F. It is important to bring warm clothing .
  • Day 2: The second day offers two completely different climates. In the first part, you will walk through the Salkantay pass. This is the hardest part of the hike, usually sunny. However, if it rains, the temperature will drop below freezing and you will need to wear a jacket, hat and gloves.
  • In the second part of the day, the temperature will increase as we go below the tree line (below 3000m). Here, we will begin to descend very quickly to the second camp located in the Cloud Forest. The temperature during the day is 24°C/75°F and the temperature at night is 10°C/50°F.
  • Day 3: On the third day, you will walk through the tropical cloud forest for the whole day. You will need to bring light clothing to protect yourself from the sun, mosquito repellent, and plenty of water. Night  temperature can be around 10°C/53°F
  •  Day 4: On the fifth day, you will visit Machu Picchu, a tropical mountain forest with a hot
    and humid climate.

How much does the Salkantay trek cost?

  • Price is one of the most important factors to consider; you will never choose the lowest price because they have hidden costs and you will pay more or have a bad experience. The normal price of the Salkantay trek is between 450.USD and 650.USD. This fee must include a 3-star hotel, porters and all means of transportation, as well as an excellent Englishspeaking guide.
  • It is important to book your tour with a reputable company. This is a high altitude, slippery terrain hiking trip, and you have to rely completely on the company and the guide.
  • Sacred Expeditions Peru offers experienced guides, professional chefs, and comfortable camping gear. In addition, we also offer coffee tours, Pachamanca cuisine and panoramic trains on the last day to return to cusco.

How to prepare for Salkantay Trek 4 days?

  • The Salkantay route is feasible for anyone; however, you need a moderate fitness level to complete the hike. It doesn’t have to be a expert hiker, but can lead an active life. Otherwise, he should prepare before traveling to avoid bad experiences.
  • No need to train months in advance. However, you should occasionally walk for an hour or two or so and increase the frequency and duration of the trip as you get closer and closer to the starting point of the tour. A few hours of exercise at the gym, jogging or spinning will also help.
  • We recommend hiking on weekends or at least twice a month (including uphill hikes).

Is there a problem with altitude sickness? How to avoid altitude sickness?

Altitude sickness is real and can affect anyone, whether they are a professional hiker or not. Here are some suggestions to avoid altitude sickness: Arrive in Cusco at least 2 days before the trek; this will help you adjust to the altitude before the hike; In the first days you should do some activities without effort or not include a few hours of walking: we recommend that you take a walk through the city of Cusco, a tour of the Sacred Valley or Maras Moray.
You should avoid excursions such as the Seven Colors Mountain, which includes hiking at high altitudes.

Bring medication for heights such as Diamox or other medications recommended by your doctor.

During the first few days in Cusco, eat lightly and drink plenty of water. Coca tea will help you.

Where can I book the Salkantay Trek in Cusco?

Machu Picchu is the most important tourist destination in South America and Peru; we have limited access to this sanctuary. We have 2 train companies. The town of Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu Pueblo is a small town that receives thousands of tourists. Keeping these factors in mind, you should always book your itinerary in advance.
Booking the tour as soon as possible will allow us to choose the best train schedule, the best hotel and the best admission time to Machu Picchu.

When is the best time to trek Salkantay and visit Machu Picchu?

The best time to hike Salkantay and visit Machu Picchu is from April to November, the dry season, April and November are “rainless” months and the weather is expected to increase.

January and February are the months to avoid this type of walk because it is the rainy season and there is a risk of landslides. During these months, we recommend that you do the Lares walk.

Covid-19 measures

Covid-19 measures to keep you safe while traveling

  • Temperature checks for all travelers are mandatory.
  • Face masks required for travelers and staff in public areas.
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff at all times.
  • High-traffic locations and equipment are regularly sanitized between uses.
  • Maximum 12 people per group to reduce crowds during this pandemic.
  • The capacity of transport and tourist sites will be reduced to 50%
  • Printed material such as maps or vouchers will be avoided.
  • 100% online payments with no booking fees at all.
  • Flexible reservations during the COVID – 19 pandemic.


Why book with Sacred Expeditions Peru

  • Sacred Expeditions Peru is a 100% Peruvian Local Tour Operator based in Cusco.
  • Personal porter included up to 7 kilos of your personal staff
  • Panoramic trains included in the last one (Visatdome or 360°)
  • Small group tours for personalized service, maximum 8 people during this pandemic, 16 people during normal hours
  • Fair treatment of porters with adequate salaries, we include men and women
  • You help us support social projects in Cusco, we provide computers with internet to local children.
  • Portable toilets and hot showers are available on all of our tours.
  • No booking fees! no credit card fee
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